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GoogleCoronavirus.com Subject of UDRP Filing (Update)

It looks like we have our first Coronavirus-related UDRP filing. It appears that Google has filed a UDRP against the GoogleCoronavirus.com domain name at the National Arbitration Forum (NAF), according to UDRPSearch.com. It is case #1888606. Because NAF does not report the name of the complainant until the decision is published, we can only assume the complainant is Google.

Google Registers TeachFromHome.org & TeachFromHome.Google

According to my morning DomainTools Registrant Monitor alert email, Google has registered the TeachFromHome.org domain name. The domain name has a creation date of March 10, 2020 and it is registered at MarkMonitor. TeachFromHome.org had initially been registered using MarkMonitor’s privacy proxy service (DNStination Inc.), but it looks like the domain name transferred to Google LLC within the last day or so. It also looks like Google registered TeachFromHome.Google as well. I did not do an extensive search to see if other related domain names were registered in addition to these two.

At the time of publication, TeachFromHome.Google does not resolve to an active website or error page. If you visit TeachFromHome.org right now, you will see a 404 error page, so whatever Google has planned for this domain name, it is not ready to go live yet:

Google Search Liaison Tweets About Domain Names

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For several years, there has been discussion about Google downplaying the role of domain names and their importance. To an extent, domain names may be less important than they once were, greatly due to search engine changes and advances, but they are still essential and play a crucial role in navigation, brand marketing, email deliverability, connectivity, and other aspects related to web presence.

One concerning development for domain investors has been Google’s de-emphasis of domain names over the last several years. Some examples of this include former Google search team leader Matt Cutts’ comments about keyword domain names, Google’s using the navigation bar for searches, and Google’s removal of domain names in mobile searches. It has appeared that Google would like to reduce the importance of domain names, and that would obviously impact the value of domain names to some degree.

Domain Names Make a Comeback on Google

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For several months, Google has been excluding domain names from the majority of its search results. Instead of prominently displaying a website’s domain name, Google has generally been displaying brand names / website names and favicons to help users better identify the websites they were visiting. I thought this had the potential to be confusing, but it looks like domain names will be making a comeback on Google search results page:

Digits.com History is Interesting

I saw an article on TechCrunch that caught my attention. A startup called Digits announced that it raised a $10.5 million Series A round of funding. A quick check of the domain name showed that it is using the high value, brand match Digits.com domain name for its business.

Why Fluz Chose Fluz.app

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Google is the company that operates the .App domain name extension. On the Google Developers Twitter account earlier this week, the company posted a link to a YouTube video where the founder of a startup called Fluz discussed why he chose the Fluz.app domain name for his business.

In the video, the founder mentioned two options that were initially considered: Fluz.com and FluzFluz.com. Fluz.com is listed for lease via Venture.com. FluzFluz.com was registered by the Fluz startup, and it forwards to the company’s Fluz.app website.

The video seems at least partially like an infomercial for .App domain names, but assuming the founder is genuinely sharing his rationale for why he chose .App, I think it’s worth a watch:

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